laramie wyoming snow

laramie wyoming snow

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

When you come off the pass from Ft.Collins leveling out into Laramie and it had begun to snow way back when you pulled out of Greely-you usually end up in a parking lot like this.
Along interstate 80 you notice these huge gates made from steel pipe and when the roads become unpassable those gates are pulled shut.
Heading west on 80 in Wyoming can be a deep desolate place-a beautiful drive with scenery you cannot describe….but I would’nt want to be stranded out there in a bad snow.
Along the highways out there one will see these tall tall fences that are built in a triangular leaning sort of fashion,I’ve never seen them close up-only from passind miles and miles of them-so the actual crafting of them is unknown to me althought they are built from wood I am not sure if fence wire is involved…never the less,these fences are there to prevent snow drifting on to the highway.
Laramie is a cold place. I think-purely a guess,that they have about four days of actual summer type warm weather-but thats just a guess. I was so fanatical about keeping my truck shined that even there I would go through the truck was and as always after I would usw towels to wipe the old rig dry. I was there one July-and my towels literally froze as I dried the tractor down.
We got shut gates coming into Laramie the day this picture was shot. By some great fortune I was able to park in the parking lot itself and not down on the exit ramps or up on the shoulder o the road-as many had no choice to park anywhere else. But it did’nt matter really-there was no choice.
The cool part of it was how the local folks came out to the highway in thier cars and vans and offered drivers a lift to a store in town or any place in town you wanted to go-just to relieve us from the dulldrum of the boredom of just sitting and looking no furthur than what you can see in the picture. It can get old-and cabin fever is for real,and these trucks are’nt as large as some cabins.
Self exile in a big truck has its rewards-but challenges and hazards like the snow covered highways such as coming off that pass into Laramie-the snow gets so thick coming down from above that the vision path narrows and always the ice forms on your wipers an lessons the view. Scare factor one. Then-as you are creeping slowly down the grade…and another truck,or a car-comes passing on the lane aside you,well…scare factor two,especially when its a big truck passing. Like a dazed doe waiting for the bullet the driver in the passing truck is that stupid and it should scare you because at any moment he can learn he has no traction and hes really just sliding down hill and should be trying to steer his rig and not be trying to make time.
I have passed many trucks that slid into the middle of the road or off the road in the wrong direction-down further where there are no roads…because they must have thought they were better drivers than anyone instead of planning ahead at the top of the pass and sticking the truck into a lower gear and keeping the foot away from the brakes-I can go down a mountain pass in any conditions at about 30 miles an hour by doing this at the top of the grade and being ready on the ride downward. A lot of guys learn this the hard way-the wrong way….I just remembered the words of the old driver that taught me how to shift my first truck.,keep your gears in low-and foot off the brakes.
Its cold this morning-and I found this photo in my collection and I can recall this day-which was around four full days before they opened the gates-but the impatient stupid ones at the exits always…it never misses-get into a hurry right then and zoof,they jackknife in the ice thats still standing and block the entrance to the pike and so….you sit,and wait.
The people who become stranded in these circumstances experience a lesson that not many often get-which is the way the food supply gets depleted in a truck stop very quickly and soon enough the real menu becomes a list of whats left…and boy can that list be bland in flavor,but when you are hungry enough you’ll eat anything. Such is the lesson that at times you are stuck with what you have and cannot order up ,you only can have what is there.
It is interesting how trucking outfits pull together in situations like this-permitting the driver to open his back doors and pull food-if thats what they are hauling-and present it to the galley in the truckstop for the sake of others.
I’m sitting here knowing it is right at freezing this morning.
I do miss the road-it was where I was the most secure and felt the safest….I do not miss the snow and ice and the days like this….and this was not a bad storm,just consistent and typical-but just the same,I don’t miss this part.

2 Responses to “laramie wyoming snow”

  1. Mike E Says:

    You got me to think, Jay, about one part of having a, uh…what’re those 4-walled things with tops to keep you dry that Normal People live in called again? Oh yeah — one thing I do not miss about having a house to call home:

    The stress. Fully half the month — in good months — my brain would be ground to floating fiberglass chards by the stress of not being able to Pay.

    If that stress was legal tender currency I could put roofs over the head of the homeless population of a small city. Twin cities even!

    But you can’t pay the rent with stress. So here I am…

    …better off? The results aren’t in yet. But I really don’t even want a house to call home unless I’ve amassed the monetary confidence that I’ll never contend with the ‘can’t pay rent/holy SHIT I’m gonna-be-out on my ass’ stress again.

    Guess maybe it’s better to be homeless than to be freaking out about it constantly? Like I said the Results aren’t in.

  2. jayherron Says:

    Thats where the system is all screwed up Mike-the trucking industry cannot find enough drivers and now that the trucks are all satilite ‘followed’ they could even put light weight convicts in them…it is like being in prison,yet-best…stick a homeless person or family in one-free rent-food-hot showers….and no need to get attached to someone…which suited me fine. It don’t make sense-
    I was homeless when I got my land,and my place has always been in repair…at this point it gives me something to do-but not stress wise. I just HATE the cold air-and brother it is cold.

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